Special education early childhood degrees are undergraduate programs that equip students with the skills and knowledge they need to provide exceptional care and support to children with special needs throughout the United States. These degrees may also prepare students to help children become more prepared for school.
There are a variety of special education early childhood degree program options, including associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in this field. Students interested in these degrees should also consider earning a certificate or diploma in early childhood education. These programs generally take two years or less to complete.
Most states require that teachers be licensed before they can work in public schools. Licensing requirements vary from state to state, but most states require individuals to earn at least a bachelor’s degree in teaching or a related field before becoming licensed. Individuals who want to earn licensure must also pass their state’s teacher licensing exam.
Some special education early childhood degree programs are offered online by colleges and universities. Some programs offer asynchronous classes, which means that students can complete assignments on their own schedule rather than at specific times when the class meets online. Other programs require students to log in at specific times for online classes that are taught by instructors in real time.
Special education early childhood degree programs focus on the education and upbringing of children from birth up to approximately 8 years old. Special education programs are designed for students with special needs, such as those who have physical or mental challenges. These programs tend to include a strong emphasis on the development of the whole child, including cognitive, social and emotional growth.
Students in these programs might take classes in curriculum development, research methods in early childhood education, classroom management and early childhood behavioral concerns. They also might be required to complete fieldwork in special education settings.
As an early childhood special education teacher, you’ll be responsible for providing care and support for preschool-age children who have learning difficulties or disabilities. These include mental, physical, cognitive, emotional and developmental impairments that may interfere with a child’s ability to learn at the same rate as other kids his or her age. You may also work with students who have autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
In addition to teaching students basic academic skills like reading and math, you will also teach them social skills. This includes how to interact with others in an appropriate manner as well as how to behave appropriately when communicating verbally or nonverbally (e.g., through hand gestures).
Special education is a specialized field of education that works with children who have special needs. Early childhood is simply the term for the period of time when children are in preschool and kindergarten. The early childhood years are crucial to a child’s development, and since young children with special needs have different developmental patterns than typically developing children, their educational needs are different.
Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) is an educational setting that works with young children who have special needs. ECSE teachers work with students from birth to age 5, and often work in conjunction with early childhood teachers and school psychologists.